NEW YORK, NY -- Rapper Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeff Atkins, was sentenced Wednesday to two years in a state prison for carrying a loaded firearm on the Upper West Side several years ago.
Atkins pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2010 to one criminal charge of second-degree attempted weapon possession for the 2007 incident.
"Carrying an illegal gun in New York City puts the safety of all New Yorkers at risk," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement. "Whether you are a Grammy-nominated musician or a teenager carrying a gun for a friend, justice is blind. This sentence should put all illegal gun owners in New York on notice."
Atkins received four Grammy Award nominations in 2002 and 2003 for "Put It on Me," "Pain Is Love," "Livin' It Up" and "Always on Time." He had been on "hiatus" from 2005 to 2009, but never ultimately staged a comeback.